The Centrist from Mid-America
E VEN IKE'S BIRTH placed him in the middle. Born on August 14, 1890, he was the third of seven sons of David and Ida Stover Eisenhower. Only six survived into childhood, as the fifth boy, Paul, died shortly after birth. Arthur and Edgar were older than David Dwight*; Roy, Earl and Milton were the youngest children.
The Eisenhowers were descendants of a German Palatinate family that had taken its religion from the teachings of Menno Simons, a contemporary of Martin Luther and John Calvin. Menno Simons carried the rebellious creed to a greater extreme, denying not only the justification of a special spiritual estate that sanctified sacerdotalism, as did Luther, but also the concept of the Trinity and infant baptism. A more moderate branch of the Anabaptists, Menno Simons's disciples, known as Mennonites, believed that the Word of God was available through the Bible to all who had faith. Their belief in regeneration was thus also incompatible with Calvin's concepts of predestination.
When the Eisenhowers reached Pennsylvania in the middle of the eighteenth century, they settled just above Harrisburg and east of the Susquehanna River, at a place called Elizabethville. Their local Mennonite congregation accordingly took the name River Brethren, which was later also used in Dickinson County, Kansas, after the westward migration of Jacob Eisenhower. When they met, David and Ida Stover were students at Lane University in Lecompton, which was run by the____________________